Romanian president approves corruption investigation against former PM

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romanian President Klaus Iohannis approved on Wednesday a request from anti-corruption prosecutors to allow a criminal investigation against former prime minister and senate speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu for suspected bribe-taking.

Tariceanu, 68, has denied all wrongdoing.

Prosecutors have said Tariceanu received political consultancy services worth $800,000 during 2007-2008 paid by an Austrian company in exchange for government bills in its favour.

Romania's PM resigns amid failure to achieve election goal

BUCHAREST, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban announced his resignation late Monday, after the ruling National Liberal Party (PNL) he leads failed to achieve its goal of scoring the best in Sunday's parliamentary election.

President Klaus Iohannis soon signed the decree, accepting Orban's resignation and appointing Defense Minister Nicolae Ciuca as interim prime minister.

The resignation of Orban is generally considered to also clear the way for his party to negotiate a future ruling alliance with other political parties.

Surprising exit poll shows Romania's main opposition scores best in parliamentary election

BUCHAREST, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Romania's main opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) is likely to win the most votes in the country's quadrennial parliamentary election on Sunday, according to a surprising exit poll jointly launched by poll agencies CURS and Avangarde as voting ended at 9:00 p.m. local time (1900 GMT).

Fiscal reform, corruption in focus in Romania parliamentary election

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romanians began voting on Sunday in a national ballot key to restoring credibility among investors, with the incumbent, reform-oriented centrists of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban holding a narrow lead over opposition Social Democrats.

In power for a year in spite of his opponents’ hold over parliament, Orban, 57, has said he would tone down a 40% pension hike ordered by the leftist PSD, which economists said would propel the deficit into double digits and push Romania’s credit rating to junk.

Hospital Fire Kills 10 COVID-19 Patients In North-Eastern Romania

BUCHAREST, Nov 15 (NNN-AGENCIES) – Ten COVID-19 patients in serious condition were killed in a fire, which erupted late yesterday, in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Piatra Neamt County Hospital, in north-eastern Romania, confirmed Health Minister, Nelu Tataru.

“Eight patients died as a result of the fire, and the other two later in the Emergency Department, due to respiratory failure,” explained the minister, who visited the hospital in Piatra Neamt, about 350 km from the capital, Bucharest, soon after the incident.

Romania imposes 30-day curfew as daily new COVID-19 infections surpass 10,000

BUCHAREST, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Romanian government decided to impose a nationwide curfew and other stricter measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, the head of the Department for Emergency Situations Raed Arafat announced on Friday.

The new nationwide prevention and control measures will take effect on Monday for a period of 30 days, the official told a press conference.

Romania’s municipal election seen as test for December vote

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Polls opened Sunday in Romania’s municipal election, which is being seen as a test of how the next general election on Dec. 6 will unfold for the country’s minority-led government.

Some 19 million registered voters were choosing local officials, council presidents and mayors to fill more than 43,000 positions across the European Union nation.

The election should reveal the strength of the National Liberal Party (NLP), which has controlled Romania’s minority government since the fall from power late last year of the Social Democrat Party.

Mask-wearing in crowded outdoor spaces made mandatory in half of Romania

BUCHAREST, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Mask-wearing is being made mandatory in crowded outdoor public places in nearly half of Romania starting Saturday, as over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed daily for almost two weeks in the country.

After authorization from the central government on Wednesday, the capital city of Bucharest and 19 of the nation's 41 counties have decided to implement various restrictions, most of which went into effect on Saturday.

Most counties stipulated that masks must be worn in open-air public places such as bazaars or other open-air markets.

Romanian court sentences former finance minister to jail for graft

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - A Romanian court sentenced former finance minister Darius Valcov to six-and-a-half years’ jail on Tuesday for taking a bribe and peddling influence in awarding public works contracts in one of the European Union’s most corrupt countries.

Valcov, 43, who had also been an economic adviser to cabinet and authored many of the then ruling Social Democrat party’s controversial tax cuts and price caps, has denied wrongdoing.

The verdict is not final, pending his appeal.

Romania's president aims to extend state of alert to fight coronavirus

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania’s state of alert in place since May 15 to fight the new coronavirus must be extended by another 30 days until the middle of July, President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday.

Iohannis ordered a strict lockdown in early March to rein in the outbreak and replaced the state of emergency with a softer state of alert mode last month. “We see the number of new infections have not dropped significantly, so we need this mode extended to fight the virus (further),” he said.

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